Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge Melbourne, Birrarung Marr Crossing, Victoria

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge

New Crossing in Victoria, Australia – design byJohn Wardle Architects / NADAAA / Oculus

13 Sep 2018

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

Design: John Wardle Architects & NADAAA in collaboration with Oculus

Location: Batman Avenue, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Formerly called Batman Avenue Bridge

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

The new Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge linking Birrarung Marr (an inner-city park between the central business district and the Yarra River) with the Melbourne Park sports precinct creates a major new arrival address for Melbourne Park.

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

The key objectives of the pedestrian bridge included creating access for pedestrians traveling to Melbourne Park and improving universal access and providing a safe route that would eliminate the need for patrons to cross Batman Avenue at street level. As a result, the bridge serves as a major pedestrian entrance point during the Australian Open. A ramping pathway through Birrarung Marr leads to the bridge proper and its alignment respects the established bridges and landscape topography of the park.

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

In the design, the architects make an important connection between the historic landscape of Speakers Corner and the outside tennis courts of Melbourne Park across Batman Avenue. Both of these existing spaces are steeped in egalitarian and democratic values – one with a history of regular citizens speaking freely on any subject; the other where a player of any ranking can pick up a tennis racquet in one of the sport’s great precincts.

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

The bridge design is slender, a flat steel girder structure that tapers at its edges to achieve the required span across Batman Avenue. The bridge undercroft follows the slope of the existing landscape thus eliminating low forming spaces and settles the bridge into the landscape. The lightweight filigree character of the steel structure provides the framework for a journey which branches into a connective path to Middle Terrace and provides views through toward the Yarra River, Birrarung Marr and the city.

The materials used include: Fabricated steel plate box girder beams, fabricated 34mm diameter steel tube ‘filigree’ balustrading, and poured in place concrete piers. The lightweight industrial quality of nearby steel trussed railway structures, and the treetop structure of the park’s elm branches have both influenced our bridge’s appearance. The result is a filigree character that provides the “framework for a journey”.

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

Fine steel circular sections form balustrading and extend to create a branching shape below the bridge deck that draws a veil partially over its structure. The filigree veil of fine steel allows for views through toward the Yarra River, Birrarung Marr and the city. The layering is revealed below the bridge where the veil is absent and the steel girder structure left plain.

It was essential to break the filigree into zones of repeating elements to minimize fabrication time and cost. Each section of filigree is composed of 5 different bend geometries which are mixed and matched to create the illusion of a random pattern. Shop mock-ups were critical to finalize the minimum radius of the filigree pipe bends and the detail of attachment hardware.

Apart from its inherent program to enable pedestrian circulation and its stealth integration into the landscape, the bridge’s recycled steel rods also are designed to be a trellis for the local flora of its surrounding park land.

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge Melbourne – Building Information

Architects: John Wardle Architects & NADAAA in collaboration with Oculus
Associate Architects: John Wardle Architects
Client: Major Projects Victoria Department of Jobs, Transport and Resources
Location: Birrarung Marr
General Contractor: Fitzgerald Constructions Australia

Photographers: Kristofer Paulsen, Nils Koenning, and Peter Bennetts

Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge in Melbourne images / information courtesy of Chicago Athenaeum

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Website: Tanderrum Pedestrian Bridge